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My Day at NHLC

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."-John C. Maxwell

Hi Everyone! My name is Eunice Pu and I am a Grade 11 student at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute. Today, I had the pleasure to attend the Illuminate National High School Leadership Conference with over 170 students globally. With attendees from Canada, US, and Vietnam.

From the morning keynote, I learned that it is ok to not follow other's expectations. Illiana Oris Valiente described her personal struggle growing up, with most of her family members being engineers. She describes the traits of a good leader and the obstacles she faced, with parental pressure to become an engineer and the stereotypical traits of a "leader". Something that resonated with me was the numerous times she changed career paths but also how she continued to pursue her dreams and persisted through the challenges. She explained the important traits of a leader, flexibility and resiliency.

During the CPA Pitch Workshop, Jodi was, unfortunately, unable to present. Although that new was saddening to hear, we were given the opportunity to hear about Alina's interesting backstory. It was so powerful to hear about her story and struggles, and that it is not ok to be perfect and on your A-game every day. Everyone has ups and downs but it's crucial to ensure that you understand your mistakes and continue to achieve and work towards your goals.

During the World of Fiance workshop, I learned about the stock market, and how the value of money is worth more than the value of money tomorrow. This workshop has given me so much information and knowledge and has inspired me to start investing and trading.

The Deloitte Keynote resonated with me the most. As Carmen Wade described her struggles and the difficult situation she was in, it reminded me of a similar situation I was in when I was younger. I became invested and so intrigued by her story.

- It’s not enough to believe you are unbiased. You have to reach out and actively include

- You cannot always rely on her to include you. Sometimes you have to help yourself and assert yourself

- It’s okay to ask for help

- Don’t make assumptions - assumptions lead to walls and barriers

- It takes time

- Never underestimate the value of trust

Her description of an inclusive leader and the steps to become one are something I hope to achieve in the future.

I consider myself an entrepreneur. With a creator with over 50 thousand followers across my two platforms, I am able to understand the different marketing strategies as well as looking for partnerships with companies. The skills I have learned through this process has taught me the value of money as well as the importance of being organized, all good traits for the business world.

In conclusion, I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this years NHLC and I am so excited for next year's conference.

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